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Telos Acoustics Fujisan

Rating:
4/5,
  1. NA Blur
    TELOS ACOUSTICS FUJISAN: A Great Sounding Scalable IEM
    Written by NA Blur
    Published Dec 30, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Wonderful sound, excellent design, lots of tips
    Cons - Might be uncomfortable to some, tips are all the same density / style, no cable cinch
    TELOS ACOUSTICS FUJISAN: A Great Sounding Scalable IEM
     
    Telos_Box.jpg
     
    SPECS:
    http://www.headphone.com/products/telos-acoustics-fujisan-premium-in-ear-headphone
     
    Driver Type                      Dynamic
    Plug Type                        3.5mm
    Cord Length                    1.3m
    Frequency Response      20 Hz – 20 kHz
    Impedance                      16 Ohms
    Sensitivity                        100 dB / mW @ 1kHz

     
     
     
    WHERE TO BUY / COST:
    http://www.headphone.com/products/telos-acoustics-fujisan-premium-in-ear-headphone
    $299 new
     
    OVERVIEW
    Around the holidays I travel back to Bozeman, Montana to visit family and friends. During a recent trip I managed to catch up with headphone.com’s Jamey Warren and he showed me the Telos Acoustics Fujisan that he was involved with during its Kickstarter campaign. He kindly sent me home with a pair for review. The goals of the Fujisan are to deliver an “audiophile-grade in-ear with athletic stability and a naturally comfortable design.”
     
    AESTHETICS
    Telos_Accessories.jpg
     
    Already impressed by the packaging, abundance of eartips, and simple design, I look deeper into the aesthetics of the Fufisan. The jack plug is machined aluminum as is the mic housing. The shirt clip has extra-long alligator jaws making it more practical than short jawed clips that I see. The eartips are comfortable although it would be great to see different densities in the silicone from color to color. Different densities could help alleviate some of the discomfort I felt wearing the Fujisan for long periods. The housing nozzle is shorter than I prefer and as such may cause some discomfort during long listening sessions because it rests harshly against the ear. The Klipsch Image S4i has a longer housing nozzle and is smaller in diameter making the risk of discomfort minimal. Overall the Fujisan is very comfortable and can be adjusted if discomfort develops.
     
    Fufisan_Nozzle.jpg
     
    I did notice that the left/right channel markings are hard to locate because the print is small and black ink on a black background, but having orange tips made labeling the right channel super easy. The driver housing and body is oval-shaped and forms a direct path to the ear canal. Many other IEMs deliver audio by taking a bounce after the driver and then entering the ear canal. The housing bodies stem down attaching the cable to the earpiece and strain relieving the solder joints.
     
    The Y-split on the cable is microphonic, but the cable clip alleviates this during movement. At 1.3m the cable is perfectly lengthened for both portable and home listening. The jack plug easily slips passed my iPod and phone case allowing perfect insertion into the audio jack. Many IEMs have issues with this because the jack plugs interfere with cases. The cable itself feels well insulated and locations where I would expect weaknesses have been strain relieved.
     
    ACOUSTICS
    I first tested the Fujisan unamped because most IEMs in this price point and of this design are developed with portable listening in mind. I did amp them with my HeadRoom BUDA and describe the differences between portable and desktop listening.
     
    Unamped: Having a sensitivity above 100dB/mW makes this IEM very easy to drive. Every portable device I had in the room drives the Fujisan to extremely loud levels. If you take a look at the frequency response spec you notice that this IEM claims a response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Why manufacturers provide this type of range baffles me because it does not tell where the peaks are, how rolled off the bass and treble are, and where and dips in the frequency response occur. Luckily inside the cover of the box resides the target frequency response.
     
    Telos_Insert2.jpg
     
    I found this target to be on par with what I hear. You can see the slight mid-bass emphasis, smooth midrange, and gently rolled off treble. Having the driver so close to the eardrum pretty much makes brightness a killer. The treble is very present, but avoids becoming piercing and fatiguing. Listening to Chet Baker’s Thank Heaven for Little Girls is smooth, detailed, and only exhibits a slight lack of metallic nature to the cymbals. This is where the scalability of the Fujisan comes in. At medium to low volumes it sounds good, but at higher volumes it comes alive bringing the bass and treble more in line with each other. Due to the up-front midrange vocals, strings, and guitar are not buried behind the bass and even Chris Jones’ Long After You’re Gone  sounds fun with nothing appearing out of place.
     
    Amped: Most IEMs do not scale well with desktop amping because they are designed for portable use. The Fujisan is no exception. Some IEMs do have super low impedances which can cause issues with amps that have output impedance above 10 Ohms, but the Fujisan avoids this issue by having an impedance of 16 Ohms. I found the sound signature to even out more amped and sound more analytical compared to unamped listening.
     
    The microphone is also excellent. Tested against the competent Klipsch Image S4i the Fujisan comes is clearer, has less noise, as well as renders voices coming in with more clarity. There is no cable cinch for the Fujisan which would make exercise and chat more comfortable and free the cable up from microphonics, but the mic performs very well without it.
     
    CONCLUSION
    Thank goodness the Telos Acoustics Fujisan is here because it sounds awesome, has well thought out design features, and it feels like a $300 IEM. One should consider that at this price point there is competition including the Etymotic Research ER4P-T and Westone W20 both of which sound great. The benefits the Fufisan has over these is that the build quality is higher and the sound quality more even and less bright than the ER4P-T. It has a smoother sound signature making it easy to listen to for hours. I find it more comfortable as well.
     
    LINKS
    Telos Acoustics
    Measurements
     
    COMPARISONS
    The Brainwavz M1 is my base reference IEM for reviews because it is affordable, sounds excellent for the price, and is built well. The Fujisan bests it in every way by being sturdier, more even sounding from bass to treble, less tinny in the midrange, and more comfortable.
      Flamess likes this.
    1. NA Blur
      January 1st 2016
      Added a brief mic review
      NA Blur, Jan 1, 2016
    2. Flamess
      Fufisan?
      Flamess, Jan 1, 2016
    3. NA Blur
      Fixed, thanks!
      NA Blur, Jan 2, 2016
  2. meringo
    Easily the best sport oriented IEM on the market
    Written by meringo
    Published Nov 21, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build Quality, Fit, Sound Signature, Stellar Treble
    Cons - Bass performance is inconnsistent
    Hello, Head-fiers. Back in the summer, I took a $99 slot on the Telos Fujisan Kickstarter campaign. I got the headphones a couple of weeks ago and have been using them daily as my primary IEM since. It’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster, as I loved these at first… became a little disappointed, and am back to being in love. Fellow Head-Fier, Dweaver, had written a wonderful review of the pre-production model back in July. Although my opinions are slightly different, I encourage everyone to go track that down and read it prior to mine.

    Packing, Accessories:
    Telos may be a new player, but their packaging is just as well done as everyone else. The box is covered by a nicely designed sleeve which easily pulls away revealing the magnetically closing box. Inside, there are three whole sets of S/M/L tips, a finely crafted leather case (I mean it, the leather feels great,) and pre-attached headphone clip.
     
    IMG_0308.jpg
     
    Build:
    It seems as though many IEM manufacturers are choosing metal over plastic for various reasons. Telos went against the grain a bit, using sturdy plastics. Although some might be upset with that, I am not. The plastics used seem super durable and remain incredibly lightweight and pocket-friendly. I can easily wind these up, throw them in my pocket, and not care if my phone is in there with them. The cable feels great, is reinforced with Kevlar, and has an excellent single button remote. Build quality is top notch with all things cable while remaining nice and light. My one complaint is cable noise. It’s real bad… but fixed easily with the included cable clip. 
    IMG_0310.jpg FullSizeRender1.jpg
     
     
     
    Fit and Comfort:
    The Fujisan are the first IEMs that gave me ZERO frustration with fit and tip selection. The tips aren’t really all that unique, but the nozzles on the Fujisan are. They are oval shaped, causing any tip you put on to turn into mini ovals much like Klipsch tips (which I love.) In addition to the unique nozzle design, Telos made a couple of additional fit enhancements such as the driver positioning, and the long stems of the shell. The drivers are located right at the base of the nozzles, creating a unique balance when in The long stems of the shell leading to the cable everything in place incredibly well. Never once, during my entire time so far with them, did I lose seal or reach up to re-adjust. With this all being said, I do have to issue one complaint about the Fujisan relating to the cable. Due to the stems, the cable runs across your cheek before it begins to bend down. See photo:
     
    Isolation:
    The Fujisan don’t go too deep into your ears. This helps with the fit but doesn’t seem to do much for isolation. I own several dynamic and hybrid IEMs that simply isolate better. I wouldn’t say these are bad at isolating, but just average. I don’t really mind this too much, as I bought these to throw into my gym bag. Isolation is far less important to me with a gym pair. Anyone using them during noisy subway or bus commutes may be a little disappointed, though. They did not fare well at normal volumes on my NYC subway commute.
     
    SOUND:
    Telos is entering a very crowded market, going after a trending segment: HiFi meets sports. V-Moda just released the Zn, and Trinity Audio is only a couple of weeks away from shipping their high end, hybrid sport IEM models. All three are after the same person.
     
    Bass – 3.5/5 – Although I was a fan of single driver dynamic IEMs, I recently discovered hybrids. I am totally in love with the new Aurisonics and recently had a chance to audition Dunu’s DN-2000 hybrid. I mention this because I am now starting to audibly differentiate how the bass is handled by 1 driver alone compared to the multi-driver models. Certain tracks are 5/5 for the Fujisan, but others are 3/5. It seems to depend on how much is going on in the music, for example, bass kicks and bass guitar may be tough to differentiate at times. With hybrids, you can get a bit more consistency. Fujisan certainly handles things well compared to other single dynamics, so don't worry. I'd still highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a slightly bass-centric IEM.
     
    Midrange – 4.25/5 – At first I felt the mids were a bit recessed, but I have since changed my opinion on the matter. Mids seems slightly forward and warm 90% of the time. Sometimes, though, bass can get in the way and make it seem a bit recessed.
     
    Treble – 4.5/5 – This is where it’s at. I haven’t ever heard a dynamic driver. The Fujisan is bright and detailed, with a sparkle that tops my $500 triple driver Aurisonics. Never once did I feel that treble was fatiguing. It didn’t matter what genre or track I was playing, treble was always 4.5/5.
     
    Soundstage – 4/5 – Although not the widest I’ve heard, the Fujisan are certainly above average. For being such a well-balanced IEM, this makes sense. Getting any wider would take away from the mids, which I wouldn’t want. 
     
    Final Thoughts:
    Overall this is a wonderful first outing for Telos. The Fujisan offer unique, new features that live up to the Telos claims. They fit better than anything I’ve ever tried/owned, and offer stellar sound quality for the asking price. The $99 I paid was a steal… the $299 asking price seems a bit steep, but the $250 sale price that’s going on now (as of 11.21.15) is perfect. If you are looking for a sport, or easy, pocketable IEM, there may be nothing better on the market. I look forward to whatever Telos comes out with next.
      Flamess likes this.
    1. paulchiu
      Thanks for this.  What is the widest soundstage for IEM that you've heard?  
      paulchiu, Nov 25, 2015
    2. meringo
      Probably the IE80 (from memory.) I gave them to a family member a while back, so I could not do an A/B comparison with the Fujisan.
      meringo, Nov 25, 2015